University lecturer says: Rock on Tommy!

Tommy Reilly, winner of the Orange Unsigned Acts competition, has been given the blessing of his university lecturers to postpone his academic career to pursue his rock star dreams instead.

The 19-year-old University of Glasgow Electronic Engineering undergraduate has shown he has the talent to succeed in the music world after strumming his way to success in the competition final in London earlier this month.

Tommy, whose music and singing style was compared to Bob Dylan by judges, is now working on his first album, due for release in June, and has his first top 20 hit with “Give me a Call”. He is also on a small tour of gig venues throughout Scotland.

Dr Nick Bailey, senior lecturer in the Department of Electronics & Electrical Engineering, University of Glasgow, said: “Failing to hand in coursework and missing tests is not something I would normally condone, but in this case, I think Tommy would be mad not to have a shot at stardom. Tommy's course is Electronics with Music, so for him it’s a bit like an industrial placement.

“We would certainly welcome him back to complete his studies. There is a limit on the length of time you can take to complete an engineering degree, but if Brian May can complete his PhD after 36 years, I don’t see why Tommy couldn’t return to finish his course later if he wanted to. I wish him all the best.”

Tommy will be back in Glasgow on March 5 for a gig at The Garage.

For more information, contact Stuart Forsyth in the University of Glasgow Media Relations Office on 0141 330 4831 or email

First published: 16 February 2009